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Difference between Consumer Protection Act 1986 and 2019 Act.

This question was Asked in UPSC Law Optional 2020. Diferences between/ Distinction between Consumer Protection Act 1986 v 2019 is very Important.

Aspect of Difference

1986 Act

2019 Act

E-COMMERCE

1986 is unknown to “e-commerce” aspect or online purchase of goods and service.

It covers transactions through all modes including offline, and online through electronic means, teleshopping, multi-level marketing or direct selling.


E-Commerce is defined under section 2(16) where goods/services can be availed in digital/electronic network.


ASPECT OF " GOODS"

​1986 Act defines "goods" means goods as defined in the Sale of Goods Act, 1930 (3 of 1930)

​Definition of goods [2(21)] is enhanced to include every kind of movable property and“food” under FSSA, 2006.


Spurious goods have been also defined under Section 2(43)


PECUNIARY LIMITS

District Commission – up to 20 Lakhs

State Commission – 20 L to 1 Crore

National Commission – Above 1 Crore


District Commission – up to 1 Crore

State Commission –1 Crore to 10 Crore

National Commission – Above 10 Crore


REGULATOR

There was no regulator under 1986 Act, rather commissions and protection council were there.

2019 Act provides for Central Consumer Protection Authority who is regulator with powers of taking action against False/Misleading Advertisement, to initiate complaint before commission, search and seizure powers etc.

MEDIATION

​There was no scope for compromise between parties, it was an adjudication between “complainant” and “opposite parties”

​2019 Act allows for mediation if the parties come to compromise before the matter is adjudicated by the Commission. Commission should direct for mediation to “Consumer Mediation Cell” if there is scope of “mediation” and pass relevant order, thereafter, after “settlement report” by mediator.

ADVERTISEMENT

1986 Act did deal with aspect of “advertisement” u/s 2(r), but it did not have aspect of “false or misleading” advertisement.

2019 Act takes up the matter of “advertisement” seriously as it paves way for consumers to purchase such goods or avail services. Therefore, any advertisement which is “misleading or false” are taken stringent action.

UNFAIR CONTRACT

1986 did not deal with aspect of “unfair contract

​2(46) defines "unfair contract" - Contract between Seller (a manufacturer or trader or service provider) and Consumer where the terms of it causes significant change in consumer rights namely seeking excessive Security Deposits ; imposing disproportionate penalty

PRODUCT LIABILITY ACTION

Product liability Action is not there in the 1986 Act.

Product liability means the liability of a product manufacturer, service provider or seller to compensate a consumer for any harm or injury caused by a defective good or deficient service. To claim compensation, a consumer has to prove any one of the conditions for defect or deficiency. [Section 82/83]

ENDORSER LIABILITY

Endorser of any goods or services are not dealt under this 1986 Act.

Endorser of any goods or services which had published any “false or misleading” advertisement will banned for 1 year to appear in any promotion. [Section 21]

FAILURE OF COMPLIANCE

​When the order of the commission is not complied with, punishment shall be 1 month to 3 years imprisonment and fine 2000rs to 10000rs. [Section 27]

When the order of the commission is not complied with, punishment shall be 1 month to 3 years imprisonment and fine 25000rs to 100000rs. [Section 72]

SWIFT DISPOSAL

No provisions regarding the disposal of complaint within any time limit by commissions.

Complaint shall be disposed by the Commissions within 3 months or 5 months(if lab test is required).

​APPEAL

​1986 Act allows appeal from one to another commission only upto 30 days.

2019 Act allows appeal from District Commission to State Commission upto 45 days.


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